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As thousands face foreclosure, Minnesotans urged to apply for mortgage relief

Thousands of Minnesotans face foreclosure amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They are encouraged to apply for relief now.

Minnesota homeowners who are having trouble paying their mortgage are being encouraged to apply now for mortgage relief to avoid foreclosure. 

The Minnesota Department of Commerce and Minnesota Housing on Wednesday said the deadline for mortgage relief for certain mortgages has been extended to Feb. 28, 2021, but those who qualify for relief should apply now. 

“Borrowers that are experiencing hardships and can’t make their mortgage loan payments should proactively reach out to their lenders to see what options they have. In many cases, the borrower’s options are better before the loan goes delinquent, or severely delinquent,” Commerce Temporary Commissioner Grace Arnold said in a statement

There are an estimated 120,000 households in Minnesota (about 15% of mortgages in the state) that are backed by the Federal Housing Administration. And about 13,000 households – more than one in 10 – have FHA-backed mortgages that are delinquent. 

That means thousands of Minnesota homeowners are behind on their mortgage payments and could be impacted by the deadline to apply for the mortgage relief. 

The CARES Act Congress passed in the spring included assistance for homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing them to delay making mortgage payments without penalty or interest for 6 to 12 months. 

The Minnesota Department of Commerce says those who are unsure if they are eligible for relief should contact their lender or mortgage servicer to discuss their options. Even those who don't have federally backed mortgages may be eligible for assistance. 

Those with questions can contact the Minnesota Homeownership Center at 651-659-9336 to speak to a nonprofit homeownership advisor who can help homeowners navigate their situation for free. 

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